Born: 1914 (Bavaria, Germany)
Died: 2005 (New York City)
Lived/Active: New York / Germany
Known for: Landscape, Botanical, Still Life
Style(s): Impressionist, Post-Impressionism
Medium(s): Oil, Pastel, Oilstick
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Ode to Autumn
Alfred Zwiebel (1914-2005) was a self-taught landscape, floral and still life artist. He was born in Fürth, Germany, but grew up in the nearby city of Bamberg, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its many architectural gems dating back to the Middle Ages. That city and the beauty of its picturesque surroundings inspired him from early childhood to the end of his life and are among the dominant themes of his landscape paintings.
Soon after the Nazis came to power, Zwiebel left Germany. He emigrated to the United States in 1935, settling first in Milwaukee and then in New York City, where he married and had a daughter. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and became a U.S. citizen in 1944. He then worked at a variety of jobs, including as a radio personality in New York City from 1949-1953, where he had a weekly radio program on station WABF playing opera recordings from his own extensive collection (opera was another of his lifelong passions).
By the 1960s, he was able to devote himself to painting full-time. Over the next four decades, he exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States, Canada, England, Austria, and his native Germany, where he received particular critical acclaim. A leading Munich newspaper (Süddeutsche Zeitung) wrote, "Zwiebel has a capacity of feeling as turbulent as van Gogh, as soft as Turner, and as impressionistic as Monet." Another influential Munich paper (Die Abendzeitung) stated, "One could call Zwiebel a belated Pissarro, but with the caveat that he is a Pissarro for contemporary eyes."
Zwiebel was invited by the city of Bamberg to give a solo exhibition in the Municipal Theater as part of the gala celebration of the city's 1,000th anniversary. The Bamberg Historical Museum selected him to participate in its special exhibition marking the 975th anniversary of the Bamberg Cathedral, an exhibition which included works of artists from Albrecht Dürer to the present. When Count and Countess Bernadotte of the Swedish royal family opened a public art gallery in their castle on the Isle of Mainau in southern Germany, an international tourist magnet for its spectacular botanical gardens, they invited Zwiebel to give the inaugural exhibition. And in 1993, the Bamberg Historical Museum gave a major retrospective exhibition of his work.
Zwiebel worked primarily in oil, but also in pastel and oil pastel. He loved the work of many artists and schools of painting, but felt the deepest affinity for the Impressionists, by whom he was also most strongly influenced. When asked to which stylistic movement he felt he most belonged, he would say that he would call himself a "modern impressionist." Indeed, New York's Long Island Sunday Press wrote of him in 1958, "Many of his canvases have the lyrical beauty of the French Impressionists. ... Paintings of a Long Island pond, a cabbage patch in Scarsdale, have much of the beauty of the great landscapes of Monet and Pissarro."
Alfred Zwiebel died in New York City in 2005 at the age of 90. (This Artist's Studio is being administered by his daughter.)
1987, Lothar Hennig Symbol-Objekt-Motiv - Der Bamberger Dom und seine Darstellungen in Malerei, Graphik und Kunsthandwerk vom Mittelalter bis in die Gegenwart (The Bamberg Cathedral and Its Representation in Painting, Graphics and Other Art Forms from the Middle Ages to the Present), Historisches Museum Bamberg, 345 pages , Exhibition Catalog
Historisches (Historical) Museum , Bamberg, International, Germany
Lake Havasu Museum of History, Lake Havasu City, Arizona
1993, Historisches Museum Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany, Solo Exhibition
1987, Historisches Museum Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany
1962, The Parrish Museum, Southampton, NY
(year unknown), The Heckscher Museum, Huntington, NY
(year unknown), The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
1968, Galerie Schumacher, Munich, Germany, Solo Exhibition
1970, Pottenstein Castle, Pottenstein, Germany
1971, Livingston Gallery, New York, NY
1972, Provincetown Gallery, New York, NY
1973, Galerie Rauh, Bamberg, Germany, Solo Exhibition
1973, Stadttheater Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany, Solo Exhibition
1974, Provincetown Gallery, New York, NY, Solo Exhibition
1977, Mainau Castle, Isle of Mainau, Germany, Solo Exhibition
1979, Galerie in der Kreissparkasse, Lichtenfels, Germany, Solo Exhibition
1980, Antiquariat Heinemann, Starnberg, Germany, Solo Exhibition
1992, Mary Anthony Fine Art Gallery, New Hope, PA, Solo Exhibition
(year unknown), Posthotel Pegnitz, Pegnitz, Germany, Solo Exhibition
(year unknown), Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, NJ
(year unknown), Robbins Gallery, South Orange, NJ
(year unknown), Randall Gallery, NY
(year unknown), Saint-Memin Gallery, Alexandria, VA
(year unknown), Emile Walter Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
(year unknown), Guildhall, London, England
(year unknown), Galerie Welz, Salzburg, Austria
1958, Long Island Sunday Press, 'Ape and Worm' School of Painting Appalls L.I. Artist
1968, Münchner Abendzeitung (Germany), Zwiebel-Ausstellung bei Schumacher [Zwiebel Exhibit at Schumacher]
1968, Münchner Jüdische Nachrichten (Germany), Sonderausstellung Alfred Zwiebel [Special Exhibition - Alfred Zwiebel]
1968, Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany), Aus Münchner Galerien [About Munich Galleries]
1973, Fränkischer Tag (Germany), Impressionen in Öl und Pastell: Ausstellung von werken Zwiebels im Foyer des E.T.A.-Hoffmann-Theaters [Impressions in Oil and Pastel: Exhibit of Zwiebel's Works in the E.T.A.-Hoffmann Theater Foyer]
1979, Obermain-Tagblatt (Germany), Malerei verbindet Menschen: Begeisterte Aufnahme der Ausstellung Alfred Zwiebels in der Kreissparkasse [Painting Unites People: Enthusiastic Reaction to the Regional Bank Exhibition of Works by Alfred Zwiebel]
1979, Obermain-Tagblatt, Im Herzen ein Romantiker: Der New Yorker Maler Alfred Zwiebel stellt in Lichtenfels aus [A Romantic at Heart: The New York Painter Alfred Zwiebel Exhibits in Lichtenfels]
1979, Obermain-Tagblatt, Verliebt in weisse "Water Lilies": Ein Künstlerleben zwischen Franken und New York [Enamored of White Water Lilies: An Artist's Life Between Franconia and New York]
1979, Obermain-Tagblatt, Ein moderner Impressionist: Der Fürther Alfred Zwiebel stellt in der Kreissparkasse aus [A Modern Impressionist: The Fürth-born Alfred Zwiebel Shows in the Regional Bank]
1979, Obermain-Tagblatt, Malerei und Musik in vollendeter Harmonie [Painting and Music in Total Harmony]
1979, Obermain-Tagblatt, Ein Impressionist für moderne Augen [An Impressionist for Modern Eyes]
1993, Fränkischer Tag, Ein Blick zurück auf die ferne Heimat: In der Alten Hofhaltung in Bamberg sind Arbeiten von Alfred Zwiebel ausgestellt [Looking Back to the Distant Homeland: Works by Alfred Zwiebel on Display in the Medieval Court Museum in Bamberg]
|Review of Artist's Work: |
Following are a few excerpts from press reviews of Alfred Zwiebel's works:
"Zwiebel is an 'admitted romanticist' and adds he's quite proud of this fact. Many of his canvases have the lyrical beauty of the French Impressionists. Looking over the walls of the Zwiebel home, soft pastels shimmer about. Paintings of a Long Island pond, a cabbage patch in Scarsdale, have much of the beauty of the great landscapes of Monet and Pissarro." William A. Raidy, Long Island Sunday Press, NY, 1958
"Zwiebel has a capacity of feeling as turbulent as van Gogh, as soft as Turner, and as impressionistic as Monet." Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany, 1968
"Alfred Zwiebel uses the impressionist technique with all its wealth of light, nuanced play of color, and open palette, and this breathes life into what he paints. .. One could call Zwiebel a belated Pissarro, but with the caveat that he is a Pissarro for contemporary eyes." Die Abendzeitung, Munich, Germany, 1968
"He is an impressionist painter and has achieved, as the paintings exhibited here prove, mastery in this style. His landscapes are imbued with life; his flower paintings are almost tropically opulent in form and color. To view these works gives one great pleasure."
Karl Lemke, Münchner Jüdische Nachrichten, Munich, Germany, 1968
"Alfred Zwiebel's works were created from a passion for landscape and flowers. ... His glowing floral paintings are more than just depictions of flowers; they are symphonies of color. He is a sensitive artist who is able to feel and transmit artistic impressions to the viewer. ... Genuine art touches the emotions, and Alfred Zwiebel's work does this." Obermain-Tagblatt, Lichtenfels, Germany, 1979
"Color is the key element in this artist's paintings; forms are reduced to a minimum, though they remain recognizable. ... In his flower paintings he is less interested in painting flowers as such; rather, he transforms a bouquet into a fantasy of light and color. ... [His work is] optimism expressed in color." Angelika Herrmann, Starnberger Merkur, Starnberg, Germany, 1980